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Lonely Planet USA (Country Guide) Paperback – April 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Country Guide
  • Paperback: 1203 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 7 edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741799007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741799002
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Adam F. Jewell on April 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A travel guide that covers the ENTIRE United States? Can it really be any good? Yes.

I've spent the last two years road tripping around the country and plan to go for two more. My focus has been mostly national and state parks and traveling on a budget. Up to this point I've used an Atlas, a GPS and a variety of national park books to plan and determine what to see and where to go. When I get to a big city or other signs of civilization I've had to rely on local recommendations and travel brochures to figure out where to go and what to do.

Much to my delight there is a centerfold section featuring photos and basic information about the national parks. The book is divided up by section of the country. These include the Southwest, The Rocky Mountains, NY, New Jersey and PA, Alaska and Hawaii among others. Within each of these "big sections" there are smaller sections that may be a metro area as in Los Angeles in the case of the California section or "Western Nevada" in the case of the "Southwest" section of the book.

At over 1,000 pages, I'd never be able to go through and evaluate this entire book. However, by looking at sections like Yosemite, Eastern Sierras, Yellowstone, Cody, Wyoming and the Jackson Hole/Grand Teton Areas it is possible to evaluate the book based on the areas with which I am familiar. Coverage for these areas is outstanding and includes most but not all of the best sights to see in those areas.

In the Eastern Sierras around Mammoth Mountain the guide highlights some relatively off the beaten path attractions including the Bristlecone Pine Forest (where you will see the oldest living things on the planet) but misses things like Obsidian Dome.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joel Avrunin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Trying to jam information about visiting a country as large and diverse as the USA into a single guidebook is a formidable task. Inevitably there will be things left out and people will wonder why the editors picked some attractions while skipping over others. Lonely Planet did a commendable job of providing an overview of the United States, with enough detail to help a person planning a trip know the best spots to go. It is comprehensive enough that combined with the Internet, this could be the only guidebook you need when seeking to explore a new state in the US.

The book is arranged by regions, not by state, likely a more logical way to lay out the country for a person planning a visit. Each region describes the flavor of the area with a list of great cities to see, and within each city, sites to explore. There are some color photos in here, but the book is more about information that the photos themselves. Hence the book is packed with text.

The only downside of the book is that it has a distinctly European viewpoint on the US, and American readers may be a little offended by some of the regional descriptions. In fact, some of the political observations were laughably naive, and it made me wonder what wrong impressions I get when I read guidebooks for other countries. In truth, you visit a place to discover it for yourself and not to let a guide book tell you about it. The purpose of the guide book is to give you a start - pointing out key sites and places to go. The journey fills in the rest. For that purpose, Lonely Planet has written an effective guide to the US and I recommend it for travelers looking to go to the US for the first time, or Americans who want to take a road trip to a new city and need to know what to do.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lonely Planet USA (Country Guide) is a very comprehensive USA travel guide. Comprehensive in a way that it covers most area in USA, but the coverage in each place (or for each point of interest mentioned) is not as comprehensive/detail as some other guide especially those who specialized on that particular city or state (which makes sense cause you can't put the whole country in one book without losing some details and of course it can't cover every single parks or lakes or restaurant out there in USA). But the bigger cities like New York and San Francisco for example, it does have quite comprehensive list of hotels and restaurants.

What I find this guide working really well is for the kind of travelers who are interested in:
1. Road trips
2. Beautiful scenery
3. Not staying in one location for too long
4. Local favorites
5. Art and cultural / museum
6. National parks / outdoor
7. Don't mind driving away from the town (i.e. point of interest located outside town or in between cities)

If you like to travel upscale such as luxury hotels, fine dining or zagat survey restaurant, fine shopping, nightclubs/nightlife, formal wear event or dining, then in my personal opinion there is probably a better guide for you out there. Having said that this book do list some luxury hotels and expensive restaurant especially in the bigger cities but I think they aren't primarily focusing on that segment.
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